by Michael J. Shapiro | October 29, 2018
IBTM World has announced the nine finalists that have been short-listed for its 2018 Tech Watch Award. All will have the opportunity to exhibit their products at IBTM World, to be held Nov. 27-29 at Fira Barcelona in Spain. The overall winner will be announced at the show on Nov. 28.
Each of the finalists is a technology supplier that is promoting a new, innovative product or service relevant to the meetings, incentive, conference and events industry. The short list includes:
 
• CadmiumCD's new Conference Harvester Logistics module, which now automates room assignments and resource selection as part of a tightly integrated meetings-management platform;
 
Event Tech Tribe, a collective of cloud-based event-tech companies that offers cohesive account support and easy integration (including ETT members Hubb and MeetingSelect, which provide logistics management and venue sourcing, respectively);
 
Eventfolio, a multi-event management platform that focuses on accumulating and utilizing member/attendee data across a large number of events;
 
IVvy, an instant-booking platform for hotel meeting spaces and ancillary meeting services;
 
Kubify's Learning Toolbox, an interactive e-poster platform for scientific and academic conferences;
 
Radario, a marketing platform that uses artificial intelligence to analyze a client's CRM platform and to target marketing better to increase ticket sales;
 
Spacebase, which offers instant booking of unique event venues;
 
• SpiceFactory's SavaEvents, an event-management platform that includes an easily integrated chatbot, and
 
Zenus, a provider of facial-recognition software, in tandem with Fielddrive, an on-site event-tech company that offers Zenus facial-recognition check-in as a core offering.
 
"Innovation is alive and well in the events industry, as evidenced in this year's IBTM World Tech Watch Award," noted judging panel chair Corbin Ball, a meetings-technology consultant [http://corbinball.com]. "A large number of entrants point to several emerging event-tech trends including facial recognition, artificial intelligence, advances in analytics, novel e-poster options, creative cloud-based alliances and more."
 
In many cases, this year's crop of entrants revealed a maturation of the event-tech marketplace. "We're really seeing an emphasis on refining existing systems," Ball said, noting that novel technology that first debuted in past years has become more accessible, more useful and more streamlined.
 
The panel of judges scored each of this year's entries based on innovation, concept, business model and overall value to the MICE industry. In addition to Ball, the panel included Michelle Bruno, president of Bruno Group Signature Events; Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of tech consultancy DAHLIA+ Inc.; Ruud Janssen, founder of the New Objective Collective, event design and strategy consultants, and the co-founder of Event Model Generation; Pádraic Gilligan, managing partner of consultancy SoolNua; James Morgan, founder of Event Tech Lab; and yours truly, Michael Shapiro, senior editor of Meetings & Conventions, part of the Northstar Meetings Group.
 
In addition to the panel's top pick, a Tech Watch People's Choice Award will be presented this year, based on voting that will take place via the IBTM World website and social media channels leading up to the big event.